Making crucial decisions in games have always been in various role-playing and adventure titles throughout the years, although most of them boiled down to the usual flowchart that leads to different endings. This adventure game though is different in that you make decisions in order to get out of a tight spot instead of just conforming to some binary morality in order to get ending A or B. In this game, there is no “good” decision, but only that which keeps you alive, even if others have to suffer for it.
Gods Will Be Watching is a point-and-click adventure game developed by Deconstructeam and published by Devolver Digital. As with most of Devolver’s releases, this one isn’t your typical point-and-click adventure title with pixel hunts and rudimentary puzzles. It has a rich narrative that puts players in situations where they have to put out all the stops and make hard decisions in order to survive.
It’s basically a ruthless survival simulator that gives you little to no control over what happens. This game is about torture, murder, treachery, and other delightfully dark stuff for you to witness, as well as a group of people falling apart due to the pressures of trying to survive and playing the blame game. It does its very best to capture the worst of the human condition through 6 chapters, making this game rather short, but quite brutal as well.
Starting a new game lets you go through either easy or original mode, which is essentially hard or harder. This game is not easy at all, and failing is a part of the gameplay itself. It’s yet another one of those new games of this generation that make use of failure points as progression tools in their own right. The only controls you have is clicking with your mouse, so playing this game is not mechanically intensive at all.
What makes this game hard though is the decision making and time management that you have to deal with in order to get by. It doesn’t deal with binary moralities like what recent adventure and role-playing games have been doing; it deals with what could be the antithesis of it. You may cringe and squirm in discomfort as you’re made to do things to other people in the game that you may never want to do in real life unless you’re an actual sociopath.
For instance, the very first scenario is a hostage situation perpetrated by Xenolifer, a group of revolutionaries who are trying to hack into the database that holds the secrets behind the Medusea Virus while trying to keep the guards back. You have four hostages to use as bargaining chips, a database to hack into that may flip on you at any time, and guards outside that are threatening to barge in. The hostages can also try to find a way to escape and they’ll have to be killed if they do, so you have to keep them subdued and under control.
If you try to be nice and easy with your approach, the game actually tells you that you’re being too soft and must put your foot down even harder. You’re also going up against the clock, so you can’t just sit back and think about what you should do next for too long. This is also true with scenarios after that one, although there are difficulty swings that make some scenarios are almost impossible while others are easier than you think.
The combination of this story and the well-done retro-style graphics make this game both accessible with its mechanics and diabolical with its tension at the same time. For those who are into anything with unhappy endings, this game should be interesting for you.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 8.5/10